I like to drink — I won’t lie. Here, let this video explain a little bit more to ya…
As noted in the video, I’m offering you some of my favorite drinks. These are ones that I have enjoyed repeatedly over the years when I want to taste something good, or will serve to my friends with confidence, knowing they are going to enjoy themselves completely.
This is a sly variant on the Old-Fasioned, which I have to make at home since most bars out there don’t stock orange bitters, and couldn’t do a drop of Pernod to save their lives! I normally get a standard Old-Fashioned when I go out, and even then somebody manages to bitch the whole damn thing up. How can you not know how to make a classic?!
As an interesting aside, Borden Chase is buried just a few feet away from Stan Laurel at Forest Lawn Cemetary in the Hollywood hills. Maybe one day I’ll get enough courage up to drink one of these at his grave and thank him for all the joy he’s brought to my life through his pet concoction.
- you need:
2 slugs of bourbon or Scotch (in real terms, around 2 ounces)
2 strips of lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon of superfine sugar, or the equivalent of bar syrup
2 hearty dashes of orange bitters
1 drop of Pernod (I keep mine in an old eye dropper)
how to make:
Put one strip of lemon peel and the sugar at the bottom of an Old-Fashioned glass with a little bit of water — maybe a teaspoon. Moddle with a spoon until the sugar is dissolved and the lemon peel releases most of its wonderful qualities. Pour in the bourbon, then add the Pernod and orange bitters. Put in a few hunks of ice — enough to raise the drink near the top of the glass — and give it a stir. A lemon peel rubbed across the rim of the glass will finish the drink, and add a delightful nose.:
For the uninformed, a Gibson has a pickled onion, and the Martini has an olive, but they are otherwise the same drink. I am a Gibson drinker almost exclusively. The tiny white onions look like little snowballs perched in my glass, which make me think of cool refereshment and calm escape. I also happen to think the tang of the onion is far less intrusive then the olive, and far better compliments a good gin (yes, gin, not vodka).
I also shake my Gibsons with a hearty hand, rather then stirring them. I like everything to be properly chiled and diluted, and this is the foolproof way to get that quality. Once I was verbally accosted by a man who said that I was bruising the gin with my method. I say nuts to him! In the end, you’re the one who’s going to be drinking the dang stuff, and my friends all swear by Gibsons… SO THERE!
Do yourself a favor and pick up some Aristocrat Cocktail Onions from Australia. They are just great! You can get them in white, red or green — fancy, ain’t it? They are available here for a very reasonable price. I just adore them.
- you need:
2 ounces of good gin (I like Boodles, which has an assertive juniper berry taste)
a quick dash of French (dry) vermouth
1 strip of lemon peel
2 or 3 cocktail onions, speared with a toothpick
how to make:
Pour all liquids into a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice, and drop in the lemon peel. Shake with unusual vigor. Strain, using a coil strainer to get those lovely floating ice chips on top, into a chilled cocktail glass. Decorate with the lanced onions.
If you like to drink, but hate to bartend, either treat me really well or drive yourself over to Musso & Frank’s Grill on Hollywood Boulevard. Musso & Frank’s does everything right down to the letter, perfect and exacting every single time. I’m not saying they are better than me… but they’re close!